Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Heart of Wichita Marathon

I have made a decision....I have made the commitment....well, I have put my long runs on my calendar and that means it is set in stone! I am going to Journey to 26.2 for the 4th time and run The Heart of Wichita Marathon.

It will be my first point-to-point marathon in my home town. It will be my first marathon with water stops not every mile but every 2 miles. But the best part, it will be my first marathon with more than Michael will be there to cheer me on. So far it sounds like Tralaine, Andy, Chanti, Don, and myself will be signing up. Sad that Debbie and Robert won't be running the miles with us but maybe I can get them to do the Relay. Very exciting!!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

9th Annual OGAR - 36th Place

From our TV Junkies Blog:
"To say challenge would be an understatement as it is every year. The race this year wasn’t as long as it had been in the past but was still a true test of strength, endurance, and relationships. The race location was the beautiful, hilly Gasconade Hills (about 15 miles east of Lebanon, MO) along the Gasconade River. The race started at 7 am with the National Anthem sung by a men’s quartet accompanied by fireworks (that was something new and exciting). We began with an 8 mile blacktop and gravel road run. Canoeing 6 miles on the Gasconade River came next to get us back to the race headquarters. We all got some food and drinks and took off on a 5 mile road bike and a 1.7 mile trail bike. The turn for the first technical section was a power line easement that some teams missed and had to back track but not the Dirty Nelly’s or The Alternates. The orienteering came next; we got lost and took way too long but the Nelly’s made it through in under 2 hours. A short 1 mile trail run gave us just enough time to shake off the ticks to come back and head out for the last 2 bike sections. When Tralaine jumped on her bike she found she had a flat and Andy changed it in record time to get us back on the trail. The last 16.8 miles on the bike weren’t too bad and it gave us the chance to all regroup and finish close together. We had an 8.8 mile technical bike, then fording the river with our bikes on our backs, and finishing with an 8 mile gravel and blacktop road bike back to the finish."

My real thoughts....we did pretty good. I love it when we do better but in hindsight it wasn't a bad day. We were faster than the average teams in all events but one and we finished in 36th place out of 78....BUT I could have done better!

First, I did not train enough on my road biking, especially on hills. Riding around town is not enough. Riding for an hour is not enough. I really needed to go on some long, hilly rides followed by running. The spinning helped and the trail biking really helped but my legs did not feel great over the long haul. And training with my husband this year on bikes was deceiving. I felt like I was ready because I was doing so much better than him but forgot (don't know how) that he is out of shape and I should be doing LOTS better than him, not just a little.

Second, I should have run with my pack filled with water more and maybe should have done more back exercises to prepare to carry a full pack. This race requires the least amount of gear of any race and my pack was too heavy for me on the run. It was the first event followed by canoing back to the bikes. I could have dumped half the water and been fine. Mental note for next year....don't take too much; asses the course and plan accordingly.

Third and final improvement that MUST be made....I have to get better at orienteering. We were out in the woods for 2 hours and 34 minutes. The best team was 50 min, Jonas' team was 1 hour 50 min, and the average teams made it in 2 hours 14 minutes. Do you notice all of those were faster than us and I take full blame; I am supposed to be the navigator and I made some mistakes in judging distance and reading the land. A good navigator has to be able to read the map, plan a course of action, and find the points. To do that you have to know how to use a compass, plot points, judge distance, and get from point A to point B. I lack in the JUDGING DISTANCE and keeping track of the can I get better???? I have to get better! I want to take a class, practice, and do more races! I mean really, one day I hope to do a 24 hr+ race and the key to those races seems to be good navigation. This has to be a part of the training and not something I practice the day of the race.

See full Alternates results. Our Gallery of race pics are pretty cool too.